Church Effectiveness and the Church Mission Statement
According to the readings on people’s integrity and reason in the context of their religious views, it is also necessary to focus on their affections. Following I Peter 2:12-17, humans are expected to live as free people and act as God’s slaves. Furthermore, people should “show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (Valliant & Fahy, 2016, p. 112). According to I Corinthians 14:20, individuals should also think and act like adults, thus, referring to their reason, as it is accentuated by John Wesley (Clapper, 2011).
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All these details allow for concluding about the role of the church in forming persons’ visions concerning both the reason and feelings or affections, as well as about church effectiveness. From this perspective, the church can be effective to improve an individual’s reason with the help of religion, and the mission statement for the church can be formulated concerning the Biblical words, as well as Wesley’s and Clapper’s ideas.
The reviewed readings can be integrated into the mission statement for the church that will be based on the accentuation of the role of the heart and mind. The following mission statement can be proposed: The church proclaims the principles of the Christian faith to help people understand God’s words and will and improve their reason to act as adults against the evil, renew their heart, and demonstrate the worship of God and love for people and the world around.
This mission statement directly depends on interpreting I Peter 2:12-17 and I Corinthians 14:20. Besides, the statement reflects Wesley’s ideas and conceptions regarding religious affections and reasoning (Clapper, 2011). Thus, this mission statement can be discussed as addressing the duties and responsibilities of the church and its specific role in the 21st century.
Walter Brueggemann and Postmodernism
Nowadays, the Christian church develops in the context of Postmodernism that influences its progress and adaptation to modern reality. Walter Brueggeman noted that a specific new context for the church should be found in “the midst of radical otherness” (Beach, 2015, p. 13). According to Kelly and Dew (2017), postmodernity is associated with the focus on a human being and his or her reasoning, the relativity of truth, and questioning morality and faith, and the researchers discuss these aspects in detail in their work. They make conclusions on how people develop their spirituality in the postmodern world. From this perspective, the church needs to inspire people to become spiritual in the reality where “radical otherness” is typical and the role of Christianity for today is questioned.
The words about “radical otherness” can also be viewed from the focus on the concept of exile concerning Christianity. Being “the other” one in some consequences can mean being exiled, and Christians in the postmodern era need to adapt their traditions to new environments referring to their past experiences, as it is noted by Susan (1998) and Beach (2015). Furthermore, it is possible to understand Brueggeman’s statement regarding Veith and Sutton’s (2017) ideas.
Today, the church seems to be less influential for Christians than earlier, and they try to believe in God without going to church. Thus, there is a kind of exile and the impact of the postmodern tradition on Christianity that can make people speak about the church existing in the middle of “radical otherness” that can influence their faith and vision.
Assessing my current ministry context from the perspectives of the reviewed literature and principles of postmodernism, it is possible to state that I should make more efforts to motivate people to find their God and unite them in the church. The focus on personal motivation and individual visions about God and His Kingdom can help people adapt to new realities in which their faith grows and develops. I am also focused on reaching those people who are diverse and who have not selected the church for them because they can require support and guidance.
Furthermore, in a newly changed context, I also demonstrate the commitment to the healthy church that can help in renewing an individual’s heart. My other principles include the focus on being responsive to the community’s needs, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability, and showing gifts and benefits associated with joining the church. Additionally, I understand and accept the importance of building group cohesiveness, referring to resilience and exercising faith to find the revelation and redemption. Thus, in a new ministry context, I am ready to help people on their paths to God.
Beach, L. (2015). The church in exile: Living in hope after Christendom. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Clapper, G. S. (2011). The renewal of the heart is the mission of the church: Wesley’s heart religion in the twenty-first century. Cambridge, UK: The Lutterworth Press.
Kelly, S. E., & Dew, J. K. (2017). Understanding Postmodernism: A Christian perspective. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Susan, R. S. (1998). Exile and creativity: Signposts, travelers, outsiders, backward glances. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Valliant, J. S., & Fahy, C. W. (2016). Creating Christ: How Roman emperors invented Christianity. New York, NY: Crossroad Press.
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Veith, G. E., & Sutton, A. T. (2017). Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran theology speaks to a postmodern world. New York, NY: Concordia Publishing House.